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T & L Update

Monthly update from Assistant Superintendent to district faculty and staff.

Spotlight on Remote Learning June 15, 2020

Screencast-O-Matic
The district has purchased a license for teachers to use Screencast-O-Matic for the 2020-2021 school year. This is a screen recording program, similar to Screencastify, but with more features!  All teachers will receive an email this week from Screencast-O-Matic on behalf of Elizabeth Ferry inviting you to sign up for your account. Please follow the directions in the email to set up your account. Further training will be offered prior to the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers and staff will still have access and the ability to use Screencastify if they choose. 

End of Year Digital Clean Up
Please view the presentation provided during last week’s virtual PD on end of year digital clean up: End of Year Digital Cleanup Presentation. A few key points in the presentation include archiving Google Classrooms if your students do not need resources from your class over the summer, deleting Google Meet links in Calendar, and keeping class rosters in programs such as Raz-Kids and Freckle active during the summer.

Read-Aloud 
Just a reminder that all read-aloud links and videos need to be deleted from your Google Classroom according to the publisher requirements.  Most of these links and videos are required to be removed by the last day of school, with a few exceptions of June 30. 

Laptop Updates
Over the summer there will be multiple important updates for teacher laptops.  All teachers are asked to turn on their laptops and connect with the FortiClient VPN app one week prior to returning to school to receive the necessary Windows updates.  This way when you return and need your laptop, you won’t be waiting for a long period of time for the updates to load.

Technology Programs for 2020-2021 School Year
The technology department will update the LearnPlatform during the summer to reflect the approved technology resources for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please refer to this website when you are preparing for your classes and resources you plan to use with your students.  Any resources that are “Pending” cannot be used until a student data privacy contract is obtained by the district. Additionally, any resource that has been requested that didn’t meet the specifications is labeled as reviewed and denied for your reference.

Looking Forward:
Mathematics Vertical Committee

Similar in format to the K-12 ELA Vertical Team, a K-5 Mathematics Vertical Team will be created in the fall to begin developing a vision and guiding beliefs document for mathematics (this will be for K-12), conduct a SWOT Protocol to ascertain the status of mathematics instruction, and then engage in the necessary research to determine and recommend a mathematics program for grades K-5.

ELA Professional Development
As the school year comes to a close, we will kick off our training in the Workshop model.  Kate Roberts will be working with the secondary ELA teachers to start the process of modifying and/or revising the current units of study to incorporate the Workshop Model.  Gary Peterson will be working with members of the ELA Elementary Vertical Team to provide an overview of the Workshop model, explore what we as a district want the essential experiences for teachers and students to be, begin defining the components of the Workshop model so that we have a common understanding and vocabulary districtwide, and draft out what an instructional block might look like for a day, a month, and a year.  Beginning next school year, the training will continue for all ELA teachers.


Remote Learning Reference Links

Spotlight on Remote Learning June 5, 2020

Virtual Office Hours
Elizabeth Ferry will be presenting a virtual professional development twice this week on digital cleanup for the end of the school year. Due to low attendance, there will be no virtual office hours scheduled. If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to Elizabeth via email:  eferry@avon.k12.ct.us. Below are outlines and the dates, topics, and times for the week of June 8th.

End of the Year Digital Cleanup
Elizabeth will cover the basic clean ups that teachers should do at the end of the school year with their digital products.
Date: Thursday - June 11, 2020
Time: 2:00-3:00
Google Meet Link:
 meet.google.com/nqj-othj-btr

End of the Year Digital Cleanup
Elizabeth will cover the basic clean ups that teachers should do at the end of the school year with their digital products.
Date: Friday - June 12, 2020
Time: 8:30-9:30
Google Meet Link: 
meet.google.com/nqj-othj-btr

Google Certified Educator Certification
The district has a few Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2 vouchers for any staff who would like to take the certification test.  Please contact Elizabeth Ferry at eferry@avon.k12.ct.us if you would like to receive a voucher. There is a limited number of vouchers available, therefore it is first come, first serve.

​ProTraxx Account Review
As the school year comes to a close, please take a moment to check your ProTraxx account to be sure the information is correct. If any information listed below has changed, please email acabrera@avon.k12.ct.us and mmates@avon.k12.ct.us to ensure that your employee information is up to date in the various district sites we use as you are not able to update your profile in MyEzTraxx. 

Name 
Address
Email 
Phone
Your School
Your Position
Certifications

Also, please verify your professional development hours for the 2019-2020 school year. You may see denied professional development hours on some activities you attended. Hours are denied if you did not complete the evaluation within 30 days of the activity. It is recommended that evaluations are completed soon after attending the activity in order for feedback be provided to the presenter in a timely manner. This feedback also helps to prepare for future professional development activities. Your feedback does matter. If you have some recent activities that have been denied, please contact Tony Cabrera to see if the issue(s) can be resolved.

If you attend professional development out of the district, you need to keep a record of your participation. This can be accomplished by creating a self-profile in MyEzTraxx.To create a self-profile, go to Reports and Create Self-Profile. A copy of any paper documents, confirming attendance at out of district professional development events, should be kept on file in the event of an audit.

Finally, just a reminder that all teachers are responsible for keeping their certifications up to date. It  is critical not to let your certification lapse, as you may be subject to new testing and coursework  requirements, or lose an endorsement altogether if it becomes obsolete. You can submit an application and fee up to six months prior to the expiration date on your certificate to the State Department of  Education. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Human Resources Department.   

Remote Learning Reference Links

Spotlight on Remote Learning May 29, 2020

Virtual Office Hours
This week Elizabeth Ferry will be presenting a virtual professional development and will continue hosting her virtual office hours. Below are outlines and the dates, topics, and times for the week of June 1st.

Virtual Office Hours
Elizabeth will be available to answer questions from staff.  Teachers and staff can drop in on her “office hours” to ask questions about instructional technology.
Date: Monday, June 1, 2020
Time: 2:00-3:00 
Google Meet Link:
meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha

Virtual Office Hours
Elizabeth will be available to answer questions from staff.  Teachers and staff can drop in on her “office hours” to ask questions about instructional technology.
Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Time: 8:30-9:30
Google Meet Link:
meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha

Creating End of Year Remote Learning Activities Virtual PD
Elizabeth Ferry will provide a variety of ideas to wrap up the end of year with your students to keep them engaged, having fun and connected to the curriculum.
Date: Friday, June 5, 2020
Time: 8:30-9:30
Google Meet Link:
meet.google.com/fsa-pqsf-gid

Bully Prevention and Intervention
At a recent Board of Education meeting, Policy 5131.911 Bully Prevention and Intervention was updated to reflect the current statue.  A few changes of note are that cyberbullying and teen dating violence are now included within the policy.  The full policy can be accessed through this link

Hapara Highlights
Due to a recent policy change by Hapara, we will no longer be able to use the Hapara Highlights feature for the remainder of the school year.  We are working on a solution for the 2020-2021 school year to use this feature if we are in a remote learning situation again.

Technology Resources for the 2020-2021 School Year
Just a reminder that a number of companies have offered free access during the COVID-19 closure.  This access will expire at the end of this school year.  If there is a resource that you would like to use for the 2020-2021 school year, please complete the following form  APS Software Request Form and send it to acabrera@avon.k12.ct.us..  All requests must be made by June 1, 2020.

Google Certified Educator Certification
The district has a few Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2 vouchers for any staff who would like to take the certification test.  Please contact Elizabeth Ferry at eferry@avon.k12.ct.us if you would like to receive a voucher.  There is a limited number of vouchers available, therefore it is first come, first serve.

Remote Learning Reference Links

Spotlight on Remote Learning May 22, 2020

Virtual Office Hours
This week Jon Moss will be presenting a virtual professional development and Elizabeth Ferry will continue hosting her virtual office hours. Below are outlines and the dates, topics, and times for the week of May 26th.

EdPuzzle Virtual PD with Jon Moss
Date: Tuesday - May 26, 2020
Time: 2:00-3:00
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/evp-mhnn-wam

Virtual Office Hours - Elizabeth will be available to answer questions from staff.  Teachers and staff can drop in on her “office hours” to ask questions about instructional technology.
Date: Wednesday - May 27, 2020
Time: 8:30-9:30
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha

K-12 ELA Vertical Team Process, Current Outcomes & Next Steps
In February 2019 an ELA Vertical Team was launched to craft a multi-year literacy plan for Avon’s ELA curriculum and literacy instruction PK-12.  The team is composed of teachers, reading consultants, and administrators  representing all schools and grade levels in the district with the meetings facilitated by Janet Zarchen, SERC consultant. From February 2019 - May 2020 the team:

  • Reviewed the ELA curriculum work from 2012-2019
  • Reviewed the summary of the 2017-2018 ELA Curriculum Review including the composite reflections and action plans for each grade level
  • Engaged in a K-12 SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) protocol to ascertain the current status of literacy instruction.  Categorized common and/or consistent ideas into broader topics to focus and organize the work moving forward
  • Conducted an inventory of current practices and materials by school
  • Read and discussed a number of research articles related to literacy instruction 
  • Engaged in an activity to develop an understanding of what curriculum is and is not; in addition to what instruction is and is not through utilizing a T-chart
  • Collaboratively researched and identified the components of a comprehensive ELA program 
  • Established a K-12 English Language Arts Vision and Beliefs document (which was the lens used for all future work)
  • Developed a rubric utilizing the ELA beliefs and Hexagon Tool (i.e., program indicators: evidence, usability, supports; implementing site indicators: need, fit, capacity) to evaluate the programs and approaches reviewed
  • Researched a broad selection of literacy programs and approaches through live and virtual presentations including Benchmark Advance; Benchmark Workshop; Fountas & Pinnell Classroom; Literacy Collaborative; Scholastic Literacy; and Teachers College Reading and Writing Program (i.e., Teachers College Website Modules, Presentation/training by Kate Roberts, Presentation by Region 10 regarding being a Teachers College Project School, Heinemann presentation on K-6 reading and writing units of study)

The outcome of all of this work is that the committee determined all grades K-12 will implement a workshop approach to teaching reading and writing over the next several years.  The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Units of Study for Writing (K-6) and Reading (K-5) was selected as the core program to be integrated into Avon ELA units.  Grades 6-12 chose to keep their current units of study and to modify and/or revise them to incorporate the workshop model.  It was also determined that K-6 will start with writing and grade 6 will also continue revising their current units of study.

Next steps include developing a common “definition” of the workshop model and its components for Avon; determining the professional development method(s) for elementary and secondary; acquiring the Teachers College units of study for reading (K-5) and writing (K-6); and creating an action plan which includes a timeline for unit development, professional development, implementation, additional resources, etc.

Finally, a HUGE shout out to all the members of the committee for their dedication and hard work.  Jenna Aylsworth (AHS), Pam Baclaski (RBS), Krista Beyer (TBS), Jenessa Blascak (PGS), Amy Borio (PGS), Jess Buckle (TBS), Marissa DesRoches (TBS), Andrew Dorr (AHS), Bill Duffy (TBS), Carrie Dybinski (PGS), David Kimball (AMS), Kim Kraner (AHS), Rene Kuhrt (RBS), Patrick Linton (AMS), Lori Maniatis (PGS), Megan McCarthy (PGS), Laura McDonnell (RBS), Mary McMahon (AMS), Jill Ouellette (TBS), Traci Protz (RBS), Michael Renkawitz (AHS), Eric Story (AMS), Noam Sturm (RBS).

Technology Resources for the 2020-2021 School Year
A number of companies have offered free access during the COVID-19 closure.  This access will expire at the end of this school year.  If there is a resource that you would like to use for the 2020-2021 school year, please complete the following form APS Software Request Form and send it to acabrera@avon.k12.ct.us.  All requests must be made by June 1, 2020.

Google Certified Educator Certification
The district has a few Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2 vouchers for any staff who would like to take the certification test.  Please contact Elizabeth Ferry at eferry@avon.k12.ct.us if you would like to receive a voucher.  There is a limited number of vouchers available, therefore it is first come, first serve.

Remote Learning Reference Links

Spotlight on Remote Learning May 15, 2020

Virtual Office Hours
This week Jessie Shaw will be presenting a virtual professional development and Elizabeth Ferry will continue hosting her virtual office hours.  Below are outlines and the dates, topics, and times for the week of May 18th.

Virtual Office Hours - Elizabeth will be available to answer questions from staff.  Teachers and staff can drop in on her “office hours” to ask questions about instructional technology.
Date: Monday - May 18, 2020
Time: 8:30-9:30
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha


Jamboard Virtual PD - Jessie Shaw from AHS will discuss jamboard which is an easy to use interactive learning tool that allows you to project your notes on a virtual whiteboard. Students and teachers can collaborate on a Google Hangout and post images and notes. Jamboard can also be used for small breakout groups or as an individual sketchnoting notebook for a class. 
Date: Tuesday - May 19, 2020
Time: 8:00-9:00
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zbm-kkus-bin


Virtual Office Hours - Elizabeth will be available to answer questions from staff.  Teachers and staff can drop in on her “office hours” to ask questions about instructional technology.
Date: Wednesday - May 20, 2020
Time: 2:00-3:00
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha


Virtual Office Hours - Elizabeth will be available to answer questions from staff.  Teachers and staff can drop in on her “office hours” to ask questions about instructional technology.
Date: Thursday - May 21, 2020
Time: 8:30-9:30
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha

Remote Learning Virtual PD
Based on the survey results we will offer at least one virtual PD each week for the remainder of the school year.  These sessions will be hosted by either Elizabeth Ferry or another faculty member who has graciously volunteered to share their expertise.  In addition, Elizabeth Ferry will continue to host virtual office hours to address any questions or concerns.

Clever
Many staff received an email from Clever at the end of last week.  Clever is a company that provides a single sign on platform for school districts to utilize with their teachers and students.  Our district is currently working on setting up our platform for the 2020-2021 school year.  More information and training will be provided in the fall.   

Pearson K12 Learning
Please note that Pearson K12 Learning was acquired by the Savvas Learning Company. All classroom instructional products, such as the Words Their Way program and some of our high school textbooks, formerly managed by Pearson are now part of the Savvas Learning Company.  Pearson continues to own and manage clinical and K-12 assessments.  

Remote Learning Reference Links

  • District Closure & Remote Learning Resources - APS website
  • LearnPlatform - list of approved software/subscriptions/resources
  • Remote Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff - tutorials & helpful hints for remote learning
  • Remote Technical Training and Support form - request form for specific training & “how to”
  • Remote Learning Resource Request Form - request form for software or website approval    
  • Understanding Copyright - a quick teacher & student guide for creativity and copyright
  • Publishers Adapt Policies to Help Educators - publishers & requirements for recording read alouds
  • IT Ticket System - request form for hardware and software issues
Spotlight on Remote Learning May 8, 2020

Virtual‌ ‌Office‌ ‌Hours‌ ‌
Elizabeth‌ ‌Ferry‌ ‌will‌ ‌continue‌ ‌hosting‌ ‌her‌ ‌‌virtual‌ ‌office‌ ‌hours.‌  ‌‌Below‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌table‌ ‌that‌ ‌outlines‌ ‌the‌ ‌dates‌ ‌and‌ ‌times‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌
week‌ ‌of‌ ‌May‌ ‌8th.‌ ‌
 ‌
Virtual‌ ‌Office‌ ‌Hours‌ ‌-‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌answer‌ ‌questions‌ ‌from‌ ‌staff.‌  ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌can‌ ‌drop‌ ‌in‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ ‌“office‌ ‌hours”‌ ‌to‌ ‌ask‌ ‌questions‌ ‌about‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌technology.‌ ‌
Date: Monday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌12,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 2:00-3:00‌ ‌

Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌Link‌: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha‌ ‌

Virtual‌ ‌Office‌ ‌Hours‌ ‌-‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌answer‌ ‌questions‌ ‌from‌ ‌staff.‌ Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌can‌ drop‌ ‌in‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ ‌“office‌ ‌hours”‌ ‌to‌ ‌ask‌ ‌questions‌ ‌about‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌technology.‌ ‌
Date: Wednesday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌13,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 8:30-9:30‌ ‌
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha‌ 


Virtual‌ ‌Office‌ ‌Hours‌ ‌-‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌answer‌ ‌questions‌ ‌from‌ ‌staff.‌  ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌can‌ ‌drop‌ ‌in‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ ‌“office‌ ‌hours”‌  to‌ ‌ask‌ ‌questions‌ ‌about‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌technology.‌ ‌
Date: Thursday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌14,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 2:00-3:00‌ ‌
Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha‌ ‌

 ‌
Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Virtual‌ ‌PD‌ ‌
Over‌ ‌the‌ ‌past‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌Ferry‌ ‌has‌ ‌offered‌ ‌multiple‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌professional‌ ‌development‌ ‌sessions.‌  ‌In‌ ‌order‌ ‌to‌ ‌best‌ ‌meet‌ ‌the‌ ‌needs‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌district,‌ ‌please‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌short‌ ‌survey‌ ‌regarding‌ ‌topics‌ ‌for‌ ‌future‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌PDs.‌ ‌‌Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Virtual‌ ‌PD‌ ‌Survey‌.‌  ‌In‌ ‌addition,‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌heard‌ ‌of‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌training‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌taken‌ ‌place‌ ‌within‌ ‌buildings‌ ‌and‌ ‌between‌ ‌grade/content‌ ‌level‌ ‌teams.‌  ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌hosted‌ ‌a‌ ‌session‌ ‌and‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌willing‌ ‌to‌ ‌share‌ ‌it‌ ‌with‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌in‌ ‌other‌ ‌buildings,‌ ‌we‌ ‌would‌ ‌love‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌you‌ ‌share‌ ‌your‌ ‌expertise.‌  ‌Please‌ ‌complete‌ ‌this‌ ‌form‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌willing‌ ‌to‌ ‌share‌ ‌your‌ ‌knowledge‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌colleagues:‌  ‌‌Hosting‌ ‌a‌ ‌Virtual‌ ‌PD‌ ‌Session‌.‌ ‌
 ‌
ELA‌ ‌Vertical‌ ‌Team‌
Members‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌ELA‌ ‌6-12‌ ‌Vertical‌ ‌Team‌ ‌will‌ ‌reconvene‌ ‌on‌ ‌Thursday,‌ ‌May‌ ‌14th‌ ‌(grades‌ ‌6-8)‌ ‌and‌ ‌Friday,‌ ‌May‌ ‌15th‌ ‌(grades‌ ‌9-12)‌ ‌to‌ ‌review‌ ‌their‌ ‌existing‌ ‌units‌ ‌of‌ ‌study‌ ‌and‌ ‌discuss‌ ‌modifications‌ ‌and/or‌ ‌revisions‌ ‌to‌ ‌incorporate‌ ‌more‌ ‌student‌ ‌choice‌ ‌and‌ ‌use‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌workshop‌ ‌model.‌  ‌Kate‌ ‌Roberts‌ ‌will‌ ‌join‌ ‌the‌ ‌groups‌ ‌to‌ ‌share‌ ‌possible‌ ‌approaches‌ ‌to‌ ‌incorporate‌ ‌both‌ ‌whole‌ ‌class‌ ‌novels‌ ‌and‌ independent‌ ‌texts‌ ‌within‌ ‌the‌ ‌units‌ ‌of‌ ‌study.‌ ‌
 ‌
The‌ ‌ELA‌ ‌K-5‌ ‌Vertical‌ ‌Team‌ ‌participated‌ ‌in‌ ‌two‌ ‌presentations‌ ‌this‌ ‌week‌ ‌by‌ ‌Heinemann‌ ‌(Fountas‌ ‌&‌ ‌Pinnell‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌and‌ ‌Teachers‌ ‌College‌ ‌Reading‌ ‌and‌ ‌Writing‌ ‌Project)‌ ‌and‌ ‌are‌ ‌now‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌process‌ ‌of‌ ‌compiling‌ ‌their‌ ‌feedback‌ ‌relative‌ ‌to‌ ‌these‌ ‌two‌ ‌programs.‌ ‌Once‌ ‌completed,‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌feedback‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌presentations‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌of‌ ‌this‌ ‌year‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌compiled‌ ‌and‌ ‌then‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌will‌ ‌meet‌ ‌again‌ ‌to‌ ‌identify‌ ‌the‌ ‌reading‌ ‌and‌ ‌writing‌ ‌model‌ ‌for‌ ‌K-5.‌ ‌
 ‌
Grading‌
During‌ ‌this‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌time‌ ‌the‌ ‌grading‌ ‌practices‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌adjusted.‌ ‌These‌ ‌adjustments‌ ‌are‌ ‌detailed‌ ‌below‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌  reference.‌ ‌

Avon‌ ‌High‌ ‌School‌ ‌Merge‌ ‌
●    Merge‌ ‌Q‌ ‌3‌ ‌and‌ ‌Q4‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌one‌ ‌S2‌ ‌grade‌ ‌
●    Cancel‌ ‌final‌ ‌exams‌ ‌
●    Offer‌ ‌students/parents‌ ‌the‌ ‌option‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌Letter‌ ‌Grade‌ ‌or‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌for‌ ‌any‌ ‌and‌ ‌all‌ ‌classes‌ ‌
●    Passing‌ ‌letter‌ ‌grades‌ ‌or‌ ‌“P”‌ ‌receive‌ ‌0.5‌ ‌credit‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌
●    Letter‌ ‌grades‌ ‌and‌ ‌weighting‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌(honors,‌ ‌college‌ ‌experience),‌ ‌will‌ ‌calculate‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌student’s‌ ‌GPA‌ ‌
●    “P”‌ ‌earned‌ ‌under‌ ‌the‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌will‌ ‌not‌ ‌calculate‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌student’s‌ ‌GPA‌ ‌
●    Teachers‌ ‌will‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌the‌ ‌percentage‌ ‌earned‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌grade‌ ‌book‌ ‌for‌ ‌all‌ ‌students,‌ ‌regardless‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌student’s‌ ‌option‌ ‌
●    Pass/Fail‌ ‌option:‌ ‌ ‌
      ○  >‌ ‌59.5‌ ‌=‌ ‌Pass,‌ ‌<‌ ‌59.4‌ ‌=‌ ‌Fail‌ ‌
      ○  Sign‌ ‌up‌ ‌period‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌is‌ ‌Monday,‌ ‌June‌ ‌1,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌-‌ ‌Friday,‌ ‌June‌ ‌5,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
      ○  Annotate‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌transcript‌ ‌and‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌“school‌ ‌profile”‌ ‌that‌ ‌a‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌was‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌students‌ ‌for‌ ‌
          second‌ ‌semester‌ ‌2020‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
 ‌

Avon‌ ‌Middle‌ ‌School‌ ‌
●    Offer‌ ‌students/parents‌ ‌the‌ ‌option‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌Letter‌ ‌Grade‌ ‌or‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌for‌ ‌any‌ ‌and‌ ‌all‌ ‌classes‌ ‌for‌ ‌Q4‌ ‌
●    End‌ ‌of‌ ‌year‌ ‌final‌ ‌grade‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌Letter‌ ‌Grade‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌average‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌four‌ ‌quarters‌ ‌
●    End‌ ‌of‌ ‌year‌ ‌final‌ ‌grade‌ ‌for‌ ‌Q4‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌average‌ ‌of‌ ‌Q1,‌ ‌Q2‌ ‌&‌ ‌Q3‌ ‌
●    For‌ ‌second‌ ‌semester‌ ‌Unified‌ ‌Arts‌ ‌classes:‌ ‌
      ○  End‌ ‌of‌ ‌year‌ ‌grade‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌letter‌ ‌grade‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌average‌ ‌of‌ ‌Q3‌ ‌and‌ ‌Q4‌ ‌
      ○  End‌ ‌of‌ ‌year‌ ‌final‌ ‌grade‌ ‌for‌ ‌Q4‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌Q3‌ ‌grade‌ ‌
●    Cancel‌ ‌final‌ ‌exams‌ ‌if‌ ‌applicable‌ ‌
●    Teachers‌ ‌will‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌the‌ ‌percentage‌ ‌earned‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌grade‌ ‌book‌ ‌for‌ ‌all‌ ‌students,‌ ‌regardless‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌student’s‌ ‌option‌ ‌
●    Pass/Fail‌ ‌option:‌ ‌
      ○  >‌ ‌59.5‌ ‌=‌ ‌Pass,‌ ‌<‌ ‌59.4‌ ‌=‌ ‌Fail‌ ‌
      ○  Sign‌ ‌up‌ ‌period‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌is‌ ‌Monday,‌ ‌June‌ ‌1,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌-‌ ‌Friday,‌ ‌June‌ ‌5,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
      ○  Annotate‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌report‌ ‌card‌ ‌that‌ ‌a‌ ‌Pass/Fail‌ ‌option‌ ‌was‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌students‌ ‌for‌ second‌ ‌semester‌ ‌2020‌ ‌due‌ ‌
          to‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
 ‌
Thompson‌ ‌Brook,‌ ‌Pine‌ ‌Grove‌ ‌&‌ ‌Roaring‌ ‌Brook‌ ‌Schools‌
●    Standard‌ ‌Avon‌ ‌report‌ ‌card‌ ‌for‌ ‌trimester‌ ‌three‌ ‌
●    Students‌ ‌will‌ ‌only‌ ‌be‌ ‌marked‌ ‌A‌ ‌(approaching)‌ ‌and‌ ‌M‌ ‌(meeting)‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌exception‌ ‌that‌ ‌if‌ ‌a‌ ‌student‌ ‌does‌ ‌not‌ ‌
      engage‌ ‌in‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌an‌ ‌I‌ ‌(incomplete‌ ‌information)‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌assigned‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌notation‌ ‌that‌ ‌there‌ ‌was‌ ‌not‌ ‌enough‌ ‌
      information‌ ‌to‌ ‌assess‌ ‌the‌ ‌student’s‌ ‌progress‌ ‌during‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
●    Indicate‌ ‌with‌ ‌N/A‌ ‌standards‌ ‌not‌ ‌taught‌ ‌and/or‌ ‌assessed‌ ‌during‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
●    Annotate‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌report‌ ‌card‌ ‌that‌ ‌trimester‌ ‌three‌ ‌was‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
 ‌
Google‌ ‌Chrome‌ ‌Sync‌ ‌and‌ ‌Linking‌ ‌Data‌ ‌
A‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌staff‌ ‌and‌ ‌students‌ ‌have‌ ‌reported‌ ‌issues‌ ‌with‌ ‌their‌ ‌accounts‌ ‌when‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌log‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌website,‌ ‌use‌ ‌extensions‌ ‌or‌ ‌connect‌ ‌accounts‌ ‌to‌ ‌district‌ ‌resources.‌   ‌Most‌ ‌of‌ ‌these‌ ‌errors‌ ‌are‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌syncing‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌individual’s‌ ‌Google‌ ‌account.‌ ‌In‌ ‌order‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌school‌ ‌connected‌ ‌resources‌ ‌and‌ ‌programs,‌ ‌an‌ ‌individual‌ ‌must‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌fully‌ ‌logged‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌Chrome‌ ‌browser‌ ‌in‌ ‌Google‌ ‌and‌ ‌should‌ ‌sync‌ ‌and‌ ‌link‌ ‌their‌ ‌data.‌  ‌This‌ ‌will‌ ‌allow‌ ‌for‌ ‌appropriate‌ ‌permission‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌and‌ ‌see‌ ‌different‌ ‌district‌ ‌resources‌ ‌and‌ ‌products.‌  ‌Most‌ issues‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌seeing‌ ‌come‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌fact‌ ‌that‌ ‌individuals‌ ‌are‌ ‌using‌ ‌multiple‌ Google‌ ‌accounts‌ ‌(personal‌ ‌and‌ ‌school)‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌Chrome‌ ‌browser.‌  ‌Please‌ ‌view‌ ‌this‌ ‌video‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌check‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌your‌ ‌school‌ ‌account‌ ‌is‌ ‌linked‌ ‌and‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌clear‌ ‌cookies‌ ‌and‌ ‌cache‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌browser:‌  ‌‌Fixing‌ ‌Common‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Chrome‌ ‌Issues‌ ‌

Google‌ ‌Chrome‌ ‌Extension‌
Chrome‌ ‌extensions‌ ‌are‌ ‌programs‌ ‌that‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌add‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌Google‌ ‌account‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌add‌ ‌features‌ ‌to‌ ‌different‌ ‌Google‌ ‌applications‌ ‌and‌ ‌programs.‌  ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌ability‌ ‌to‌ ‌add‌ ‌extensions‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌accounts,‌ ‌while‌ ‌students‌ ‌have‌ ‌programs‌ ‌added‌ ‌to‌ ‌their‌ accounts‌ ‌pushed‌ ‌out‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌district.‌  ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌must‌ ‌read‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌terms‌ ‌of‌ ‌an‌ ‌extension‌ ‌prior‌ ‌to‌ ‌adding‌ ‌it‌ ‌to‌ ‌their‌ ‌Google‌ ‌account‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌requesting‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ ‌any‌ ‌student‌ ‌data.‌  ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌find‌ ‌an‌ ‌extension‌ ‌that‌ ‌you‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌with‌ ‌student‌ ‌data‌ ‌and/or‌ ‌that‌ ‌you‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌added‌ ‌to‌ ‌student‌ ‌accounts,‌ ‌please‌ ‌submit‌ ‌a‌ ‌request‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resource‌ ‌Request‌ ‌Form.‌ ‌
 ‌
Edpuzzle‌ ‌Subscription‌ ‌
We‌ ‌are‌ ‌excited‌ ‌to‌ ‌announce‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌premium‌ ‌version‌ ‌of‌ ‌Edpuzzle‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020-2021‌ ‌school‌ ‌year.‌  ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌currently‌ ‌using‌ ‌Edpuzzle,‌ ‌you‌ ‌know‌ ‌how‌ ‌beneficial‌ ‌this‌ ‌resource‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌for‌ ‌providing‌ ‌instruction‌ ‌and‌ ‌assessing‌ ‌student‌ ‌understanding.‌ The‌ ‌company‌ ‌has‌ ‌a‌ ‌variety‌ ‌of‌ ‌resources‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌assist‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌use‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌program‌ ‌including‌ ‌a‌ ‌webinar‌ ‌on‌ ‌using‌ ‌the‌ ‌resource‌ ‌with‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom:‌ ‌‌Edpuzzle‌ ‌and‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌101‌‌ ‌and‌ ‌an‌ ‌online‌ ‌PD‌ ‌course:‌ ‌‌Edpuzzle‌ ‌Online‌ ‌PD‌ ‌and‌ Certifications‌.‌ ‌
 ‌
Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Reference‌ ‌Links‌ ‌
●  District‌ ‌Closure‌ ‌&‌ ‌Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resources‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌APS‌ ‌website‌ ‌
●  LearnPlatform‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌list‌ ‌of‌ ‌approved‌ ‌software/subscriptions/resources‌ ‌
●  Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resources‌ ‌for‌ ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌Staff‌‌ ‌‌-‌ ‌tutorials‌ ‌&‌ ‌helpful‌ ‌hints‌ ‌for‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
●  Remote‌ ‌Technical‌ ‌Training‌ ‌and‌ ‌Support‌ ‌form‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌specific‌ ‌training‌ ‌&‌ ‌“how‌ ‌to”‌ ‌
●  Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resource‌ ‌Request‌ ‌Form‌‌ ‌‌-‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌software‌ ‌or‌ ‌website‌ ‌approval‌ ‌
●  Understanding‌ ‌Copyright‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌a‌ ‌quick‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌&‌ ‌student‌ ‌guide‌ ‌for‌ ‌creativity‌ ‌and‌ ‌copyright‌ ‌
●  Publishers‌ ‌Adapt‌ ‌Policies‌ ‌to‌ ‌Help‌ ‌Educators‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌publishers‌ ‌&‌ ‌requirements‌ ‌for‌ ‌recording‌ ‌read‌ ‌alouds‌ ‌
●  IT‌ ‌Ticket‌ ‌System‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌and‌ ‌software‌ ‌issues‌ ‌

Spotlight on Remote Learning May 1, 2020

Virtual‌ ‌Professional‌ ‌Development‌ ‌Sessions‌ ‌
Elizabeth‌ ‌Ferry‌ ‌will‌ ‌continue‌ ‌hosting‌ ‌her‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌professional‌ ‌development‌ ‌sessions.‌ These‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌are‌ ‌intended‌ as‌ follow-ups‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌tutorials‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌already‌ ‌been‌ ‌created‌ ‌and‌ ‌posted‌ ‌internally‌ ‌and‌ ‌links‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌provided‌ ‌to‌ ‌external‌ ‌tutorials.‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌present‌ ‌a‌ ‌short‌ ‌"mini-lesson"‌ ‌and‌ ‌then‌ ‌open‌ ‌it‌ ‌up‌ ‌for‌ ‌questions‌ ‌and‌ ‌answers‌ ‌related‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌topic‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌session.‌ ‌Additionally,‌ ‌this‌ ‌week‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌also‌ ‌be‌ ‌hosting‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌office‌ ‌hours.‌ ‌‌Below‌ are the‌ ‌dates,‌ ‌times,‌ ‌and‌ ‌topics‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌week‌ ‌of‌ ‌May‌ ‌4th.‌ ‌

Screencastify‌ ‌-‌ ‌Back‌ ‌by‌ ‌popular‌ ‌request,‌ ‌this‌ ‌session‌ ‌ will‌ ‌cover‌ ‌the‌ ‌basic‌ ‌use‌ ‌of‌ ‌Screencastify.‌ ‌We‌ ‌will‌ ‌discuss‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌access‌ ‌the‌ ‌program,‌ ‌create‌ ‌videos‌ ‌using‌ ‌the‌ ‌resource‌ ‌and‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌students‌ ‌use‌ ‌the‌ ‌tool‌ ‌as‌ ‌well.‌ ‌
Date: Monday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌4,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 2:00-3:00‌ ‌

Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌Link‌: meet.google.com/yuy-abci-nwi‌ ‌

Virtual‌ ‌Office‌ ‌Hours‌ ‌-‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌answer‌ ‌questions‌ ‌from‌ ‌staff.‌ Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌can‌ ‌drop‌ ‌in‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ ‌“office‌ ‌hours”‌ ‌to‌ ‌ask‌ ‌questions‌ ‌about‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌technology.‌ ‌
Date: Tuesday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌5,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 8:30-9:30‌ ‌

Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌Link‌: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha‌

Smart‌ ‌Notebook‌ ‌Online‌ ‌Virtual‌ ‌PD‌ ‌-‌ ‌This‌ ‌session‌ ‌will‌ ‌cover‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌access‌ ‌the‌ ‌online‌ ‌learning‌ ‌suite‌ ‌for‌ ‌Smart‌ ‌Notebook,‌ ‌how‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌find‌ ‌resources‌ ‌to‌ ‌assign‌ ‌students‌ ‌to‌ ‌interact‌ ‌with‌ ‌through‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌basic‌ ‌information‌ ‌on‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌create‌ ‌an‌ ‌activity.‌ ‌
Date: Thursday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌7,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 8:30-9:30‌ ‌

Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌Link‌: meet.google.com/heu-fjyh-nkx‌ ‌

Virtual‌ ‌Office‌ ‌Hours‌ ‌-‌ ‌Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌answer‌ ‌questions‌ ‌from‌ ‌staff.‌ Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌can‌ ‌drop‌ ‌in‌ ‌on‌ ‌her‌ ‌“office‌ ‌hours”‌ ‌to‌ ‌ask‌ ‌questions‌ ‌about‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌technology.‌ ‌
Date: Friday‌ ‌-‌ ‌May‌ ‌8,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
Time: 2:00-3:00‌ ‌

Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌Link‌: meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha‌ ‌
 ‌
ELA‌ ‌Elementary‌ ‌Vertical‌ ‌Team‌ ‌
Next‌ ‌week‌ ‌the‌ ‌ELA‌ ‌Elementary‌ ‌Vertical‌ ‌Team‌ ‌will‌ ‌reconvene‌ ‌to‌ ‌continue‌ ‌their‌ ‌research‌ ‌into‌ ‌reading‌ ‌and‌ ‌writing‌ ‌approaches‌ ‌and‌ ‌models.‌ ‌There‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌two‌ ‌presentations‌ ‌by‌ ‌Heinemann,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Fountas‌ ‌&‌ ‌Pinnell‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌on‌ ‌Thursday,‌ ‌May‌ ‌7th‌ ‌and‌ ‌Teachers‌ ‌College‌ ‌Reading‌ ‌&‌ ‌Writing‌ ‌Project‌ ‌on‌ ‌Friday,‌ ‌May‌ ‌8th.‌ Following‌ ‌these‌ ‌presentations,‌ ‌another‌ ‌date‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌set‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌to‌ ‌review‌ ‌the‌ feedback‌ ‌from‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌presentations‌ ‌in‌ ‌hopes‌ ‌of‌ ‌deciding‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌districtwide‌ ‌reading‌ ‌and‌ ‌writing‌ ‌model‌ ‌prior‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌end‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌school‌ ‌year‌ ‌so‌ ‌that‌ ‌planning‌ ‌can‌ ‌begin‌ ‌towards‌ ‌implementation.‌ ‌ ‌
 ‌
RBDigital‌ ‌
Students‌ ‌and‌ ‌staff‌ ‌now‌ ‌have‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ ‌resources‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌Connecticut‌ ‌State‌ ‌Library‌ ‌without‌ ‌having‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌a‌ ‌library‌ ‌card.‌ To‌ ‌access‌ these‌ ‌resources,‌ ‌visit‌ ‌RBDigital‌ ‌and‌ ‌select‌ ‌the‌ ‌register‌ ‌option‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌side‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌page‌ ‌and‌ ‌follow‌ ‌these‌ ‌steps.‌ ‌Create‌ ‌a‌ ‌user‌ ‌name,‌ ‌password‌ ‌and‌ ‌use‌ ‌‌ctstatelib20‌ ‌‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌access‌ ‌code.‌ Provide‌ ‌first‌ ‌name,‌ ‌last‌ ‌name,‌ ‌e-mail,‌ ‌and‌ ‌postal‌ ‌code.‌ Check‌ ‌the‌ ‌box‌ ‌to‌ ‌accept‌ ‌the‌ ‌terms‌ ‌of‌ ‌service‌ ‌and‌ ‌privacy‌ ‌policy‌ ‌and‌ ‌then‌ ‌click‌ ‌the‌ ‌register‌ ‌button.‌ Then‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Connecticut‌ ‌State‌ ‌Library’s‌ ‌eAudio‌ ‌and‌ ‌eBook‌ ‌collection.‌ ‌
 ‌
Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Reference‌ ‌Links‌

  • District‌ ‌Closure‌ ‌&‌ ‌Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resources‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌APS‌ ‌website‌ ‌
  • LearnPlatform‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌list‌ ‌of‌ ‌approved‌ ‌software/subscriptions/resources‌ ‌
  • Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resources‌ ‌for‌ ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌Staff‌‌ ‌‌-‌ ‌tutorials‌ ‌&‌ ‌helpful‌ ‌hints‌ ‌for‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
  • Remote‌ ‌Technical‌ ‌Training‌ ‌and‌ ‌Support‌ ‌form‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌specific‌ ‌training‌ ‌&‌ ‌“how‌ ‌to”‌ ‌
  • Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resource‌ ‌Request‌ ‌Form‌‌ ‌‌-‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌software‌ ‌or‌ ‌website‌ ‌approval‌ ‌
  • Understanding‌ ‌Copyright‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌a‌ ‌quick‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌&‌ ‌student‌ ‌guide‌ ‌for‌ ‌creativity‌ ‌and‌ ‌copyright‌ ‌
  • Publishers‌ ‌Adapt‌ ‌Policies‌ ‌to‌ ‌Help‌ ‌Educators‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌publishers‌ ‌&‌ ‌requirements‌ ‌for‌ ‌recording‌ ‌read‌ ‌alouds‌ ‌
  • IT‌ ‌Ticket‌ ‌System‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌and‌ ‌software‌ ‌issues‌ ‌
Spotlight on Remote Learning April 24, 2020

Virtual Professional Development Sessions
Elizabeth Ferry will continue hosting her weekly virtual professional development sessions. These sessions are intended as follow-ups to the tutorials that have already been created and posted internally and links that have been provided to external tutorials. Elizabeth will present a short "mini-lesson" and then open it up for questions and answers related to the topic of the session. Additionally, this week Elizabeth will also be hosting virtual office hours. Below is a table that outlines the dates, times, and topics of the sessions for the week of April 27th.

Date                           Topic                                                                                              Google Meet Link
Monday           Virtual Office Hours - Elizabeth will be                   meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha
4/27/20          available to answer questions from staff.  
2:15-3:15       Teachers and staff can drop in on her
                       “office hours” to ask questions about
                       instructional technology

Tuesday         Finding Instructional Videos for                             meet.google.com/avy-amhd-wuc
4/28/20         Classroom Use
8:30-9:30

Thursday       Virtual Office Hours - Elizabeth will be                   meet.google.com/zje-epod-gha
4/30/20         available to answer questions from staff.  
8:30-9:30       Teachers and staff candrop in on her 
                       “office hours” to ask questions about
                       instructional technology

Friday            Using a Document Camera with                              meet.google.com/yns-jxfa-ohp
5/1/20           Screencastify and Google Meet
2:00-3:00

Technical Support for Staff and Students
Just a couple of reminders:

  • If you are having a hardware or software issue, please do not send emails to specific IT staff but use the it@avon.k12.ct.us  email instead.  This allows us to streamline responses and get back to you in a more efficient manner.  Many times the emails you send to individuals are forwarded to this email to get them into the system that has been established for this remote learning period of time. 
  • Remember that you can access your building technology council member and colleagues who are Google certified with any of your questions related to the Google Suite and other district programs such as Screencastify.  A list of these individuals can be found on the homepage of the resource website Remote Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff 
  • If your students are having an issue with their technology, they should be using the same email address (it@avon.k12.ct.us) so that their issue can be addressed.
  • If you are using a software program that is not one of the district’s standard programs, the IT department’s responsibility is to make sure the software works with our system, but it is the teacher’s responsibility to learn how to use the specific features of the program that is applicable for their classroom.

Hapara
Hapara is available for use with students, but please note that it may not work as smoothly outside of our school’s network.  Individual’s personal Internet settings may block specific features of the tool. Please do not make this a requirement for your students in your class.

Instructional Video Use During Remote Learning
When using videos for instructional purposes, please look through all of the district databases for a resource prior to going to an open source website such as EdPuzzle or YouTube.  If there is nothing available through our district databases, make sure that the resources you are finding on either EdPuzzle or YouTube are appropriate and not copyrighted material, such as book read alouds or feature films.

Screencastify
Screencastify is an exceptional resource to use when creating instructional videos for our students. We cannot use this resource to record videos from YouTube, Netflix, or other streaming sources to save to our Google Drive. In addition, we cannot use Screencastify to record Google Meets with students.

Read&Write for Google Chrome
With remote learning comes an increased dependence on both the consumption and production of  digital content. Read&Write for Google Chrome, an extension that aids with accessibility to digital content and the production of digital text, is a tool that supports a wide variety of student needs, as well as fosters independence in students.  It can be easily accessed by all Avon students when they are logged in to their Avon Google account. Located in the upper righthand corner of the computer screen, a student can access the many functions of this tool by clicking on the purple puzzle piece. A sample of the powerful support tools offered are text-to-speech to hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow highlighting, text and picture dictionaries to see the meaning of words explained, speech-to-text dictation, and word prediction.    

Google Classroom Posting of Assignments
There are two new tutorials on the Google Classroom page on the Remote Learning Resource website for teachers and staff.  These tutorials cover how to schedule a Google Classroom post for a later date and time and how to reuse a post for those who need to schedule the same post to multiple class sections:  Google Classroom Tutorials - Scheduling and Reusing a Post

Remote Learning Reference Links

  • District Closure & Remote Learning Resources - APS website
  • LearnPlatform - list of approved software/subscriptions/resources
  • Remote Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff - tutorials & helpful hints for remote learning
  • Remote Technical Training and Support form - request form for specific training & “how to”
  • Remote Learning Resource Request Form - request form for software or website approval    
  • Understanding Copyright - a quick teacher & student guide for creativity and copyright
  • Publishers Adapt Policies to Help Educators - publishers & requirements for recording read alouds
  • IT Ticket System - request form for hardware and software issues
Spotlight on Remote Learning April 19, 2020

Virtual‌ ‌Professional‌ ‌Development‌ ‌Sessions‌ ‌
Elizabeth‌ ‌Ferry‌ ‌will‌ ‌continue‌ ‌hosting‌ ‌her‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌professional‌ ‌development‌ ‌sessions.‌  ‌‌These‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌are‌ ‌intended‌ ‌as‌ ‌follow-ups‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌tutorials‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌already‌ ‌been‌ ‌created‌ ‌and‌ ‌posted‌ ‌internally‌ ‌and‌ ‌links‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌provided‌ ‌to‌ ‌external‌ ‌tutorials.‌ Elizabeth‌ ‌will‌ ‌present‌ ‌a‌ ‌short‌ ‌"mini-lesson"‌ ‌and‌ ‌then‌ ‌open‌ ‌it‌ ‌up‌ ‌for‌ ‌questions‌ ‌and‌ ‌answers‌ ‌related‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌topic‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌session.‌  ‌‌Below‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌table‌ that‌ ‌outlines‌ ‌the‌ ‌dates,‌ ‌times,‌ ‌and‌ ‌topics‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌training‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌week‌ ‌of‌ ‌April‌ ‌20th.‌ ‌
 ‌
      Date‌ ‌                              Topic‌ ‌                                                        Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌Link‌ ‌
Mon, 4/20/20‌ ‌     Best‌ ‌Practices‌ ‌with‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌      meet.google.com/uui-mujg-spu
2:15-3:15            Tips‌ ‌and‌ ‌Tricks‌ ‌for‌ ‌Using‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌    ‌ ‌

Wed,‌ 4/22/20‌ ‌    Screencastify‌ ‌                                              meet.google.com/yuy-abci-nwi
8:30-9:30            Basic‌ ‌use‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌program‌ ‌for‌ ‌both‌ 
                    ‌       teachers ‌and‌ ‌students.‌ ‌

Fri,‌ 4/24/20‌ ‌       Freckle‌ ‌(K-6)‌ ‌ ‌                                               meet.google.com/owk-zruw-rse
8:30-9:30            In‌ ‌depth‌ ‌look‌ ‌at‌ ‌Freckle‌ ‌data‌ ‌
                           for‌ ‌K-6‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌
‌ ‌
As‌ ‌a‌ ‌follow-up‌ ‌to‌ ‌her‌ ‌presentations‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌January‌ ‌technology‌ ‌professional‌ ‌development‌ ‌day,‌ ‌Maria‌ ‌(Vincenza)‌ ‌Egidio,‌ ‌from‌ TechPDia,‌ ‌is‌ ‌offering‌ ‌free‌ ‌Smart‌ ‌Online‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Suite‌ ‌training‌ ‌to‌ ‌Avon‌ ‌Public‌ ‌School‌ ‌teachers.‌  ‌If‌ ‌grade/content‌ ‌level‌ ‌teams‌ ‌or‌ ‌individual‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌receive‌ ‌virtual‌ ‌training‌ ‌from‌ ‌Maria,‌ ‌please‌ ‌use‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌link‌ ‌to‌ ‌schedule‌ ‌a‌ ‌time:‌ https://meetings.hubspot.com/maria143‌.‌  ‌If‌ ‌one‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌schedule‌ ‌the‌ ‌time,‌ ‌Vincenza‌ ‌can‌ ‌send‌ ‌out‌ ‌the‌ ‌link‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Hangout‌ ‌to‌ ‌those‌ ‌who‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌attend.‌  ‌Some‌ ‌examples‌ ‌of‌ ‌trainings‌ ‌she‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌providing‌ ‌include:‌ ‌

  • Adding‌ ‌activities‌ ‌and‌ ‌interactivity‌ ‌to‌ ‌static‌ ‌content‌‌ ‌–‌ ‌hand‌ ‌lessons‌ ‌out‌ ‌through‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌or‌ ‌send‌ ‌links.‌ ‌
  • Creating‌ ‌an‌ ‌engaging‌ ‌online‌ ‌session‌ ‌with‌ ‌students‌‌ ‌‌–‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌Shout‌ ‌it‌ ‌Out‌ ‌(polling‌ ‌feature)‌ ‌and‌ ‌Monster‌ ‌Quiz‌ ‌(students‌ ‌team‌ ‌up‌ ‌virtually‌ ‌to‌ ‌answer‌ ‌questions).‌  ‌A‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌recently‌ ‌did‌ ‌a‌ ‌live‌ ‌check‌ ‌in‌ ‌with‌ ‌her‌ ‌students‌ ‌in‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Hangouts‌ ‌that‌ ‌used‌ ‌these‌ ‌features.‌ ‌
  • 1:1‌ ‌live‌ ‌sessions‌ ‌using‌ ‌hellosmart.com‌‌  ‌‌--‌ ‌An‌ ‌example‌ ‌of‌ ‌this‌ ‌is‌ ‌an‌ ‌Occupational‌  ‌Therapist‌ ‌who‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌using‌ ‌this‌ ‌approach‌ ‌in‌ ‌an‌ ‌upcoming‌ ‌teletherapy‌ ‌session‌ ‌–‌ ‌she‌ ‌will‌ ‌handout‌ ‌an‌ ‌activity/worksheet‌ ‌and‌ ‌both‌ ‌she‌ ‌and‌ ‌her‌ ‌student‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌work‌ ‌on‌ ‌it‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌time.‌ 

Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌Parent‌ ‌Summaries‌ ‌
We‌ ‌have‌ ‌received‌ ‌very‌ ‌positive‌ ‌feedback‌ ‌regarding‌ ‌the‌ ‌parent‌ ‌summaries‌ ‌from‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom.‌  ‌A‌ ‌few‌ ‌parents‌ ‌are‌ ‌concerned‌ ‌though‌ ‌because‌ ‌assignments‌ ‌are‌ ‌showing‌ ‌up‌ ‌as‌ ‌missing,‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ ‌were‌ ‌items‌ ‌that‌ ‌were‌ ‌not‌ ‌technically‌ ‌assignments.‌  ‌Please‌ ‌check‌ your‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classrooms‌ ‌and‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌any‌ ‌items‌ ‌labeled‌ ‌as‌ ‌an‌ ‌assignment‌ ‌is‌ ‌an‌ ‌item‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌the‌ ‌students‌ ‌to‌ ‌turn‌ ‌in‌ ‌or‌ ‌mark‌ ‌as‌ done.‌ This‌ ‌will‌ ‌eliminate‌ ‌the‌ ‌confusion‌ ‌parents‌ ‌are‌ ‌having‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ ‌see‌ ‌the‌ ‌daily‌ ‌or‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌summaries‌ ‌of‌ ‌missing‌ ‌assignments.‌ ‌
 ‌
Google‌ ‌Meets‌ ‌New‌ ‌Release‌ ‌-‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌Integration‌ ‌
Google‌ ‌released‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌feature‌ ‌in‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌which‌ ‌allows‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌one‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌link‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌classes‌ ‌and‌ ‌it‌ ‌appears‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌page.‌  ‌This‌ ‌will‌ ‌allow‌ ‌teachers‌ ‌to‌ ‌essentially‌ ‌lock‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌links,‌ ‌since‌ ‌the‌ ‌students‌ ‌cannot‌ ‌enter‌ ‌the‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌room‌ ‌unless‌ ‌the‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌is‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌room‌ ‌already.‌  ‌As‌ ‌long‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌last‌ ‌one‌ ‌to‌ ‌exit‌ ‌the‌ ‌room,‌ ‌the‌ ‌link‌ ‌becomes‌ ‌unusable‌ ‌until‌ ‌the‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌goes‌ ‌back‌ ‌in‌ ‌again.‌  ‌The‌ ‌following‌ ‌tutorial‌ ‌will‌ ‌show‌ ‌you‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌integrate‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌with‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Classroom‌  ‌‌Google‌ ‌Meet‌ ‌and‌ ‌Classroom‌ ‌Integration‌.‌ ‌ ‌

Supplemental‌ ‌Enrichment‌ ‌Opportunities‌ ‌for‌ ‌All‌
Prior‌ ‌to‌ ‌Spring‌ ‌Break,‌ ‌an‌ ‌Enrichment‌ ‌Activities‌ ‌link‌ ‌was‌ ‌added‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌District’s‌ ‌Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌website.‌  ‌Two‌ ‌activities‌ ‌were‌ ‌posted.‌ Genius‌ ‌Hour‌ ‌at‌ ‌Home‌‌ ‌where‌ ‌using‌ ‌an‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌presentation,‌ ‌students‌ ‌are‌ ‌led‌ ‌through‌ ‌an‌ ‌inquiry‌ ‌process‌ ‌to‌ ‌learn‌ ‌deeply‌ ‌about‌ ‌a‌ ‌topic‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌choice‌ ‌and‌ ‌‌Innovate‌ ‌and‌ ‌Invent‌‌ ‌where‌ ‌students‌ ‌grow‌ ‌an‌ ‌idea‌ ‌using‌ ‌the‌ ‌invention‌ ‌cycle‌ ‌presented‌ ‌in‌ ‌an‌ ‌instructional‌ ‌presentation‌ ‌that‌ ‌promotes‌ ‌innovation,‌  ‌problem‌ ‌solving,‌ ‌and‌ ‌creativity.‌ This‌ ‌information‌ ‌was‌ ‌shared‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌elementary‌ ‌families‌ ‌prior‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌break‌ ‌and‌ ‌new‌ ‌activities‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌added‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌enrichment‌ ‌opportunities‌ ‌for‌ ‌students‌ ‌and‌ ‌families‌ ‌who‌ ‌are‌ ‌interested,‌ ‌with‌ ‌support‌ ‌available‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌K-6‌ ‌Enrichment‌ ‌Coach‌ ‌if‌ ‌needed.‌ ‌ ‌
 ‌
Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Reference‌ ‌Links‌ ‌

  • District‌ ‌Closure‌ ‌&‌ ‌Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resources‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌APS‌ ‌website‌ ‌
  • LearnPlatform‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌list‌ ‌of‌ ‌approved‌ ‌software/subscriptions/resources‌ ‌
  • Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resources‌ ‌for‌ ‌Teachers‌ ‌and‌ ‌Staff‌‌ ‌‌-‌ ‌tutorials‌ ‌&‌ ‌helpful‌ ‌hints‌ ‌for‌ ‌remote‌ ‌learning‌ ‌
  • Remote‌ ‌Technical‌ ‌Training‌ ‌and‌ ‌Support‌ ‌form‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌specific‌ ‌training‌ ‌&‌ ‌“how‌ ‌to”‌ ‌
  • Remote‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Resource‌ ‌Request‌ ‌Form‌‌ ‌‌-‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌software‌ ‌or‌ ‌website‌ ‌approval‌ ‌
  • Understanding‌ ‌Copyright‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌a‌ ‌quick‌ ‌teacher‌ ‌&‌ ‌student‌ ‌guide‌ ‌for‌ ‌creativity‌ ‌and‌ ‌copyright‌ ‌
  • Publishers‌ ‌Adapt‌ ‌Policies‌ ‌to‌ ‌Help‌ ‌Educators‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌publishers‌ ‌&‌ ‌requirements‌ ‌for‌ ‌recording‌ ‌read‌ ‌alouds‌ ‌
  • IT‌ ‌Ticket‌ ‌System‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌request‌ ‌form‌ ‌for‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌and‌ ‌software‌ ‌issues‌ ‌
Spotlight on Remote Learning April 5, 2020

Virtual Professional Development Sessions
Starting on April 6th, Elizabeth Ferry will begin hosting virtual professional development sessions.  These sessions will address how to use some of the new remote learning products that we have available.  Below is a table that outlines the dates, times, and topics of the training sessions for the upcoming week.

    Date                 Time               Topic                                          Google Meet Link
Monday, 4/6    2:15-3:15       EdPuzzle                                  meet.google.com/gua-qczo-iwf
                                              Creating a class & content 
                                              to push out to classes
                          
Tuesday, 4/7    8:30-9:30      Freckle-Assigning                   meet.google.com/uvi-ctfk-kxs
                                              assignments to students

Wednesday,    8:30-9:30       Google Meet/Hangout            meet.google.com/coi-nypn-qqh
 4/8                                         Best Practices

Wednesday     2:15-3:15       Learning A-Z                           meet.google.com/tug-gtmm-cym
4/8                                          Assigning Vocabulary 
                                                 A-Z Assignments
 
Grid View for Google Hangouts
A new Chrome extension was pushed out to all accounts today called Google Meet Grid View.  This extension will allow users to view all members of a Google Hangout/Meet on one screen.  The next time you are in a Google Meet, you will see the icon in the upper right hand part of your screen.

Software Update
Continue to visit the Teacher and Staff Remote Learning Website to view updated information regarding new products and tutorials that are able to be used for remote learning.  The newest product added this week was Newsela!

Google Classroom Parent/Guardian Summaries
The district will be sending an email out to parents and guardians inviting them to receive summaries of their students’ Google Classroom on Monday, April 6, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.. Teachers will need to enable summaries for their Classrooms.  In order to activate this function, you will go into one of your Google Classrooms and click on the setting icon and scroll down to find the option for Guardian Summaries.  You can turn it on for all of your Classes at once.

A Message from APS Library Media Specialists
Many teachers have inquired about the ability to record themselves reading books for their classes and posting the videos on their Google Classroom pages.  We are fortunate that there are a number of publishers who have lightened their restrictions with regards to this practice due to COVID 19.  If a teacher would like to record themselves reading a book, they should refer to the following list of publishers and the requirements in order to do so:  Publishers Adapt Policies to Help Educators.  When emailing the publishers the required information, please copy your building library media specialist on the email so they can keep a list of books requested.  If the publisher is not listed on the above link, please reach out to your librarian for further assistance with contacting the specific publisher.  Also, even though many publishers are asking to be tagged in social media posts, it is highly recommended by the district that we do not tag publishers on social media as this is not a requirement but a suggestion. Please use the following link to better understand copyright Understanding Copyright.

Also, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to pay attention to copyright when posting assignments, articles, books, videos or any other item that would be considered copyrighted material.

  • Do not post videos of others reading stories if they are not the author or publisher
  • Do not post or share lessons or documents from Teachers Pay Teachers if you do not have licenses for all of your students or colleagues
  • Pay close attention to any items that you are posting to Google Classroom that might be photocopies of articles or books, as they most likely are copyrighted material
  • Make sure that the images you use are approved for use and indicate the source of your images (use sites like Pixabay, Creative Commons, Youtube video - How to Use Google Images Without Copyright, etc.

Remote Learning Reference Links

  • District Closure & Remote Learning Resources - APS website
  • LearnPlatform - list of approved software/subscriptions/resources
  • Remote Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff - tutorials & helpful hints for remote learning
  • Remote Technical Training and Support form - request form for specific training & “how to”
  • Remote Learning Resource Request Form - request form for software or website approval
  • IT Ticket System - request form for hardware and software issues
     
Spotlight on Remote Learning March 23, 2020

Well, we have now officially moved to remote learning and have all survived our first day.  As we continue this journey, we will all have to continually monitor and adjust what we are doing and how we are doing it to ensure that we are being as effective as possible.  With that said, just in the last few days we have identified the need to streamline a few processes in order to control the spread of emails.  They are listed below along with a few other updates and resources:

  • When looking for answers to technology questions, please reference the resources provided by the district first before emailing questions to the technology department staff.   For example, the Remote Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff website offers a variety of tutorials and helpful tips for remote learning.  The LearnPlatform provides the list of approved resources.  If a resource is not on this list, it cannot be used without being vetted and approved by the district.  
  • The district received exciting information regarding already approved resources.  First, EdPuzzle is offering our district a premium license for the remainder of the year.  Second, Freckle, which is a K-12 resource, is providing unlimited assignments for classrooms.  Third, Infobase is allowing us access to all of their databases.  Finally, there are two E-books resources for our students to access text while participating in remote learning.  More information about these exciting options can be found on the Remote Learning Resource Website.
  • Prefer to interact with a live person, remember your building technology council member and colleagues who are Google certified.  A list of these individuals can be found on the homepage of the resource website.  If there are specific technical training and “how to” requests, please complete the Remote Technical Training and Support form.  Using this process will allow multiple people to review the list and address the requests large scale or individually based on the request.  Also, using these requests, additional materials and tutorials will be created for everyone's use and posted on the resource website.
  • Many times a simple question can be answered through a Google search, checking with your teammates, etc.  We are getting many follow-up emails a few minutes later that say, “Figured it out”, “Got it”, “Never mind” so when you hit that moment of panic, take a deep breath and see if you can work it through.  If you can’t, definitely reach out.
  • If you are requesting approval for software or a website, please complete the Remote Learning Resource Request Form.  These requests will be reviewed daily and if approved, you will be notified and it will be added to the master list that everyone has access to.  Once again, please do not send out resources to your colleagues, students, or families unless they have been vetted, approved, and placed on the master list.
  • The initial update to the APS website was completed last week for remote learning.  On the home page, click on District Closure & Remote Learning Resources, then Remote Learning Plans, and you will see the various grade levels, directions to access Google Classroom from home, the APS district resources and subscriptions, etc.  We encourage you to take a few minutes to review the information available to families and the community.
  • Reference Links:
    • APS - Software/Subscriptions/Resources Approval Status:  Public List
    • Remote Learning Resources for Staff 
    • IT Ticket System
       
Spotlight on Remote Learning March 20, 2020

First and foremost, we hope that everyone and their families are staying healthy and doing well.  As we begin our venture into remote learning, it is a time that we will all experience at some level uncertainty, new learning, and some new ideas that we might incorporate into our daily practices once we return to “normal”.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep it simple.  Don’t recreate the wheel - start with the materials and resources you have and would have been using if we were in session
  • Share the workload with your grade level or department colleagues by splitting up the planning, creation, and organization of materials and assessments
  • Continue to plan all instruction around grade level state standards
  • Make sure what you upload and/or share with students meet the copyright and data privacy laws.  Use only approved online software and resources.  The updated list can be found here: APS - Software/Subscriptions/Resources Approval Status:  Public List
  • While there are endless “free” subscriptions to various software programs currently, many of these do not meet the data privacy requirements, BOE policies, etc.  With that being said, do not distribute or utilize websites or subscriptions that are not district approved, as unfortunately you will be personally liable if any FERPA or student data privacy issues arise as these have not been vetted or endorsed by the district
  • If there is a specific instructional need causing you difficulty in meeting your content standards, please send an email to Donna and Jodi detailing what the instructional need is and we will work with you to try and find a solution 
  • Numerous Google Classroom and other tutorials have been created and/or updated for your use  Additional resources will continue to be developed and added.   Remote Learning Resources for Staff 
  • If you should experience technology issues with your hardware or software, please use this link, IT Ticket System, to report the issue

Now more than ever it is important to remember, slow is fast.  Don’t panic, everything doesn’t need to be perfect day one.  It will take a little time to do this well, but that is okay.  And it is also important to remember that as we are all learning and growing in different ways, we will need the support and understanding of one another.  We are all in this together and one day we'll look back and say, “remember when”, and have many stories to share and reminisce about.

In closing, as we continue to chart this unknown territory we are here to support you and your grade level team or department in order to meet the learning needs of all our students.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  Stay well, stay strong, and stay connected with family and friends during this unprecedented time.
 

Spotlight for March 2020

The Elementary ELA Vertical Team met on February 6th to continue researching and narrowing down the K-5 district approach to literacy. The meeting began with a webinar on the Literacy Collaborative model presented by a faculty member from Lesley University. The key components of the Literacy Collaborative model include: on-site professional development, leading to the creation of a school leadership team; and a research-based, instructional model that aligns with the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts as well as meets the needs of students who struggle with literacy skills. In the afternoon, the language arts coordinator/reading consultant and a teacher from Region 10 joined the group to share their journey in becoming and presently being a Teachers College Project School. In between the two presentations, the group engaged in a similar activity as the secondary team did last month, where they drafted out what the components of the workshop model might look like through the teacher and student lens for both reading and writing.

Preparations for the 2019-20 state assessments are well underway. Similar to last year, all students in grades 3-8 will be assessed in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics on the Smarter Balanced Assessment and science will be assessed in grades 5, 8, and 11 on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Assessment. And, Grade 11 students will be assessed in the areas of English Language Arts and mathematics on the Connecticut School Day SAT. Avon’s windows for state testing are as follows:

Grade 11 CT School Day SAT: March 25 (Make-ups April 28 & 29)
Grades 5, 8 & 11 NGSS Assessment: May 11 - May 29
Grades 3-8 Smarter Balanced Assessment: May 11 - May 29

Many teachers have been using the Smarter Balanced interim assessments for formative assessment moments, practice with Smarter Balanced test platform, etc. As you continue to engage in the Test Administration section of the test platform please note that Summative NGSS and Smarter Balanced assessments may be available. Please stop to read all Important messages to be sure you are selecting the correct test.  The image below shows a NGSS Summative Assessment has been selected and not an interim assessment.  The window for NGSS Summative Assessments has opened for grade 11 and all other summative assessments will be available on March 23, 2020. Please proceed carefully when using Interim Assessments or practicing.  


Friday, March 20th is the final District Professional Development day for this school year. The day will be comprised of two sessions. One session will provide an Introduction to Child Trafficking in Connecticut, a training requirement for schools under Public Act No. 17-32. The training will assist participants in identifying victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking as well as providing tips on how best to respond and support identified trafficking victims. This session is requried for all certified and non-certified staff. The second session will focus on beginning the work associated with the assessment inventory that is a component of focus area one of Avon’s Blueprint. Teachers will work collaboratively and individually to complete the assessment inventory that will look at the state, district, school, grade/department, and individual teacher’s assessments given to our students PK-12. This information will be used to review and revise the assessments that are being administered within the district. 

Recently, the ProTraxx mid-year certification update was completed. When you have a moment, please check to ensure that your certification(s) are reflected correctly and review the expiration date(s). This information can be accessed on ProTraxx by going to My EzTraxx, Reports, and then Staff Profile. It is critical not to let your certification lapse, as you may be subject to new testing and coursework requirements, or lose an endorsement altogether if it becomes obsolete. You can submit an application and fee up to six months prior to the expiration date on your certificate to the State Department of Education. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Human Resources Department.

Calendar of Events
March 12    School Counseling Curriculum Writing, Avon High School Community Room   7:30 - 2:30
March 13    Secondary ELA Vertical Team, Avon High School Community Room   7:30 - 2:30
March 25    Technology Education Curriculum Writing, Teaching and Learning Office 7:30 - 2:30
March 26    K-5 ELA Vertical Team, Avon High School Community Room   8:00 - 3:00

Visit our district website for past issues of Avon Public Schools Teaching and Learning Update

Spotlight for February 2020

The Curriculum Professional Development Council (CPDC) met on January 9th. The day was spent working on the Vision of the Graduate, a component required for NEASC accreditation, and the District feels it is important to create this vision PK-12 as PK-8 builds the foundation for everything that happens in high school. The meeting began with reviewing the feedback collected through the Thoughtexchange platform and the information provided at previous meetings. Based on this information and table discussions, the priority skills for the Vision of the Graduate were identified first individually, then working in pairs participants identified 2-4 consensus priorities, and finally working as a table participants identified a unified table list of 2-4 consensus priorities.  The priority skills were then reported out to the entire group and a master list was created. Next the full group processed the list through clarifying, combining, advocating, and then independently voting (ranking their top 5 choices). The results were tallied and the priority skills identified: communication; critical and creative thinking; independent and collaborative work; and cultural competence. Next the same process was used to identify the priority dispositions: empathy/compassion; resilience/perseverance; responsible/accountable/integrity; and self-regulation. Finally, small groups were given one skill or disposition to begin the initial work of defining the term, identifying the indicators or evidence of success – what should/could a student be able to do if they have mastered or demonstrated proficiency; etc. This work will be continued at the next CPDC meeting in April. Additionally, three course change proposals were presented: Algebra II (formerly Integrated Algebra), Advanced Algebra II (was Algebra II), and Applied Topics in Math (formerly Consumer Math).
 
A special thank you to all of our staff who facilitated sessions on the January 17th District Professional Development Day. They are Angela Antonelli, Dianne Cole, Brad Devlin, Ellen Farrell, Elizabeth Ferry, Tiffany Fox, Cat Hanks, Anna Harris, Rebecca Kerrigan, Amanda Kosky, Jodi Kryzanski, Patty Lorenzo, Jen Malz, Shanley McClave, Jon Moss, Jess Shaw, Nate Strick, and Bob Vojtek.  

The ELA Vertical Team had two meetings in January. The K-5 members met and had a presentation by Bookmark Education on two of their programs: Structured Pathway to Literacy - Benchmark Advance and Flexible Workshop Approach - Literacy Workshops. Scholastic presented on their Scholastic Literacy program and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided materials for review on their Into Reading program. Following each presentation, participants completed  an evaluation of the approach/program using the District’s ELA beliefs as indicators. At the end of the month the 6-12 members met and determined to move forward with a workshop model for both reading and writing at the secondary level. Once this decision was solidified, the remainder of the meeting was spent discussing what writing instruction currently looks like at the various grades, drafting out what Avon’s components of the workshop model could look like and how we might define them, and developing a lesson template to be used to develop and manage lessons and materials in support of the identified learning objectives at each grade level. 

The Next Generation Science Standards Assessment student results were released from the CSDE Assessment Office in late December.  The electronic files have been shared with building principals and the individual student reports have been distributed to both families and the buildings to be added to student cumulative files.

Finally, beginning in January and continuing this month our English Learners in all grades will be participating in the state required LAS Link testing. This annual assessment is the Linguistic standard selected for Connecticut English Learners.  In order for students to exit English Learner status and no longer receive English language acquisition support, the student must reach the state mandated exit requirements: scores of 4 or higher in three categories - Overall, Reading and Writing. The assessment has four components (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) and takes approximately 125 minutes in all. It is the goal of the ESOL department to provide each of our 105 English Learners an opportunity to take this assessment in an environment and time frame that meets each student’s needs while minimizing impact to ESOL programming. The results, received in late spring, will be used to determine English Learners’ status and programming for 2020-21.  

Calendar of Events
February 6    K-5 ELA Vertical Team, Avon High School Community Room   8:00 - 3:00
February 12    Library Media Curriculum Writing, Teaching and Learning Office   8:00 - 3:00
February 13    Technology Education Curriculum Writing, Teaching and Learning Office   7:30 - 2:30
February 28    7-12 Art Curriculum Writing, Teaching and Learning Office   7:30 - 2:30

Visit our district website for past issues of Avon Public Schools Teaching and Learning Update

Spotlight for January 2020

Friday, January 17th is the second District Professional Development Day. Based on the input from the Professional Development and Evaluation Committee (PDEC) which met in December, the day will be organized in two three hour sections: building based and technology. For the building based professional development Avon High School will focus on NEASC and Avon Middle School’s staff will engage in a 90-minute session on Implicit Bias in Education and a 90-minute session focused on continuing the Social Emotional Learning from the last professional development day. Thompson Brook School’s staff will participate in a 90-minute session on Storytelling As An Empathy-Building Tool and a 90-minute session focused on continuing the Social Emotional Learning from the last professional development day. Pine Grove and Roaring Brook Schools will have a 90-minute session focused on Second Step and a 90-minute session on Implicit Bias in Education for PGS and Storytelling As An Empathy-Building Tool for RBS. For the technology portion of the day, a choice of technology workshops will be offered opposite the building sessions. The full list of offerings are detailed in this PD Catalog. All certified staff, para-educators, teaching assistants, and intervention tutors are asked to review the catalog and select four preferences using the links embedded at the bottom of the catalog. 

The Curriculum Professional Development Council (CPDC) will hold its second meeting of the year on January 9th. At this meeting, the CPDC members will be joined by the NEASC membership to develop Avon’s PK-12 Portrait of the Graduate. The groups will begin the meeting by reviewing the data collected through the Thoughtexchange platform to help determine the essential skills and attributes every Avon student needs to be successful in a highly dynamic and challenging world. Next, Dr. Jonathon Costa will facilitate the prioritizing of the skills and attributes followed by defining and determining ways to measure each of the skills and attributes identified to be included in our Portrait of the Graduate. 

As the calendar year was coming to an end, four content areas met to advance unit and course development. Business, Library Media, Technology, and Visual Arts worked on the alignment of Stage 1 (Desired Results) and continued to develop Stage 2 (Evidence of Learning) and Stage 3 (Learning Plan) in Eduplanet.
   
On the technology front, the last round of faculty laptops for PGS and RBS have arrived and been prepped for deployment next week.  Also the last wave of Chromebooks have arrived. This deployment will add Chromebooks to the high school’s inventory such that the high school will have the same number of Chromebooks as they have students. The other schools already have the same number of Chromebooks as they have students for first grade through eighth grade.

Finally, the last update relates to district computers running Windows 7. Microsoft has announced that the operating system will reach end of life this January. That means Microsoft will no longer support that operating system. In order to avoid any security issues that may result from unsupported software we will need to begin removing computers running Windows 7. We understand that there was an agreement that we would leave the teacher computers in the classroom, but those computers would not be maintained. Unfortunately, the situation has changed now that Microsoft is ending support, which compromises our security.

Calendar of Events
January 9      Curriculum Professional Development Council, Avon Community Room   8:00 - 3:00
January 15    K-5 ELA Vertical Team, Avon Community Room   8:00 - 3:00
January 17    District Professional Development, Various Buildings   8:00 - 3:00
January 22    K-4 Art Curriculum Writing, Teaching and Learning Office   8:00 - 3:00  
January 31    6-12 ELA Vertical Team, Avon Community Room   7:30 - 2:30

Visit our district website for past issues of Avon Public Schools Teaching and Learning Update

Spotlight for December 2019

The ELA Vertical Team met on November 26th.  The day was structured K-5 and 6-12 with each group spending half of the day continuing the language progression work that was begun at the previous meeting and half of the day further exploring the workshop model with Kate Roberts, a literacy consultant and author.  Kate Roberts discussed the different workshop models, shared various approaches to skill and strategy-based literacy instruction, and approaches for conferring and small group instruction.

Math universals are given to all Avon students in grades K-10, 3-4 times a year, as part of the district’s SRBI framework.  The universal assessments are primarily seen as a screening tool to identify students potentially at risk for meeting grade level expectations. However, the screens, when used in conjunction with unit planning, can also be used to inform instruction for all students; including those who demonstrate skills above grade level expectations.  To support a wider use of math universals in grades K-8,  a crosswalk document was created to show how Avon math universals align with the math units at each grade level. This document also references the alignment of another classroom resource, Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments (IABs), which are designed to inform instruction and/or measure achievement. 

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has many resources that can help inform instruction during the school year.  The Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs) and the Focused IABs can be used during the year for instruction as well as pre-assessments and/or post- assessments.  The IABs and Focused IABs support specific claims and targets on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Using these tools during the year can provide immediate results to inform instruction and give students practice with the testing platform.  Here is a link to the 2019-20 Interim Assessments overview provided by the Connecticut State Department of Education. This document provides a detailed description of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, including Interim Assessments for both English Language Arts and Mathematics.    

As shared in the November Teaching and Learning Update, the work has begun to develop Avon’s PK-12 Portrait of the Graduate. This portrait will reflect the essential skills and attributes every Avon student needs to be successful in a highly dynamic and challenging world.  We ask that if you have not already done so, to please contribute your thoughts on this topic through the Thoughtexchange platform.  Utilizing this platform, you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts, read those of others, and assign “stars” (from a low of 1 to a high of 5) to show how important each item is to you.  Sharing your thoughts could take as little as  5 - 10 minutes and you can complete the questions at your own pace as well as come back to review your answers at any time.  The Thoughtexchange platform can be accessed at https://my.thoughtexchange.com/#481184040, thoughtexchange.com or on the IOS Thoughtexchange app. Select “Join” and enter the code, 481184040.  For technical help you can contact the Thoughtexchange at 1-800-361-9027 ext. 4 or email feedback@thoughtexchange.com.  
 
Calendar of Events
December 5        Mathematics Curriculum Writing: Algebra 1A and 1B, Teaching & Learning Office 7:30 - 2:30
December 12      Business Curriculum Writing, Teaching & Learning Office 7:30 - 2:30
December 19      Elementary Art Curriculum Writing, Teaching and Learning Office 8:00 - 3:00

Visit our district website for past issues of Avon Public Schools Teaching and Learning Update

Spotlight for November 2019

The ELA Vertical Team met again on October 24th to further the district level work on literacy instruction. The group reviewed and discussed the feedback, gathered to date, from schools on the English Language Arts Vision and Believe Statements. This document will be reviewed by the English Department at the high school before being adopted. The vision and belief statements will serve as the compass for all future work in the area of literacy instruction.  For the remainder of the day the team began the process of exploring instructional models for teaching reading and writing. The first exploration included the Teachers College Units of Study and work by Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. The next meeting is November 26th.

Tuesday, November 5th is the first district-wide professional development day. The focus will be on Social Emotional Learning and there will be three two-hour sessions that everyone will rotate through over the course of the day. The three sessions will focus on behavior support and intervention plans; de-escalation strategies; and self-regulation strategies. As part of each session techniques, strategies, and resources will be shared. Thank you in advance to all of our residence expert staff who will be facilitating the majority of these sessions and who will continue to be a resource to everyone after the sessions.

Launching this fall is a new technology program called the LearnPlatform.  This program allows teachers and staff the ability to see which online programs and software are approved for classroom use with students in Avon schools. The LearnPlatform is easy to access directly through the Chrome browser. Simply click on the 3x3 grid in Google Chrome and scroll to the bottom of the applications to find the LearnPlatform icon or you can use the LearnPlatform link in the Technology section of the Quick Links document. 
Further training will be provided to staff on how to use the program and how to request online programs and software for use with students that are not on the approved list.  Just a reminder that if a program is not identified as an approved resource, it can not be used if any student identifiable data is required to access the program until there is a signed data privacy contract with the company, at which time it will be added to the LearnPlatform.

As we continue to fully optimize all of the features in PowerSchool, indicators for special populations (i.e., special education, 504, gifted and talented) have been set-up to provide those with PowerSchool access to that information.  The following document outlines the steps to view these features:  Identifications: Special Education, 504, Gifted & Talented

Calendar of Events
November 11    Technology Education Curriculum Work Group 1, BOE Teaching & Learning Office - 7:30 - 2:30
November 14    Information & Digital Literacy Curriculum Writing, BOE Teaching & Learning Office - 8:00 - 3:00
November 18    Technology Education Curriculum Work Group 2, BOE Teaching & Learning Office - 7:30 - 2:30
November 21    Secondary Visual Arts Curriculum Work Writing, BOE Teaching & Learning Office - 7:30 - 2:30
November 26    ELA Vertical Team Meeting, AHS Community Room - 8:00 - 3:00

Visit our district website for past issues of Avon Public Schools Teaching and Learning Update

Spotlight for October 2019

On September 26th, the ELA Vertical Team reviewed and finalized the draft ELA vision and beliefs statements, which will be shared over the next few weeks with all ELA teachers for their feedback.  Next the team worked together to solidify the focus areas for the multi-year plan and began identifying action steps for each area.  The five focus areas are: district instructional model for reading and writing; clear academic expectations for literacy instruction; meeting the needs of all students; authentic tasks; and assessment and feedback.  Finally, elementary and secondary groups examined the work that has been done to date in terms of language progressions to determine a K-12 format and possible next steps.  At the next meeting, work will begin on the first focus area.

As a follow-up to the revised APS SRBI Framework and SAT documents that were reviewed and distributed at the start of the school year, additional supporting documents have been created.  These documents include the Quick Guide to Writing SMART Goals to support the requirement of identifying SMART goals for all interventions on the Individual Intervention Plan and SAT/SRBI: Accessing and Using Student Support Files documents that detail how to access active student files and create new student files for elementary schools and secondary schools.

The Smarter Balanced student scores have been released from the CSDE Assessment Office.  The electronic files have been shared with building principals and the individual student reports have been distributed to both families and the buildings to be added to student cumulative files.  The Next Generation Science Standards state testing results are slated to be released later in the fall.  

The Curriculum Professional Development Council (CPDC) will hold its first meeting of the 2019-20 school year on October 17th.  The major agenda items for the day will be launching the work on creating the portrait of the graduate and K-12 Science will present their findings and recommendations to the Council from their curriculum review conducted last spring.

This year, the professional development in November will focus on social-emotional learning (SEL).  In preparation for the professional development day, building administrators will provide a short overview on the work the SEL Committee engaged in last year creating a definition and guiding principles of SEL.  The committee has provided the district with a SEL framework which is being used to shape the professional development.  The professional development sessions will concentrate on advancing our collective knowledge and skills related to behavior support plans and behavior intervention plans; de-escalation strategies; and self-regulation strategies.  

Calendar of Events
October 17    Curriculum Professional Development Council, AHS Community Room   8:00 - 3:00
October 22    Information & Digital Literacy Curriculum Writing, BOE Teaching & Learning Office   8:00 - 3:00
October 23    Technology Education Curriculum Writing, BOE Teaching & Learning Office   7:30 - 2:30
October 24    ELA Vertical Team Meeting, AHS Community Room   8:00 - 3:00

Visit our district website for past issues of Avon Public Schools Teaching and Learning Update

Spotlight for September 2019

Last year, CPDC members and a small work group reviewed and made revisions to the APS SRBI Framework and SAT documents to ensure our processes are aligned with CSDE expectations and are focused on meeting the needs of all students.  Some of the changes include simplified and/or clarified language, streamlined supporting documents, elimination of the term form, and the requirement of SMART goals for all interventions on the Individual Intervention Plan.  For the 2019-20 school year, the focus will be on implementing the APS SRBI Framework with fidelity, accessing Tier 2 or Tier 3 interventions for students through the outlined processes including the use of a Student Assessment Team, and timely completion of required documentation for any student in the SRBI process.  This is a quick overview and building administrators will be providing more information and details.  For your reference, the APS SRBI Framework, SAT Initial Meeting Request and Record of Meetings Document, Individual Intervention Plan, and the Multi-Tiered System of Support reference document can be accessed here.  

Last spring there was a recommitment to the EXCEL model.  The EXCEL model is centered around building relational capacity, developing leadership skills, and supporting social emotional learning.  As a result of this recommitment, an EXCEL brochure was developed that defines each letter of the model and includes three ways to support students for each area. A special thank you to Lori Arnold (PGS), Liz DeVitto (RBS), Scott Rand (AMS), Jessie Shaw (AHS), and Meg Spencer (TBS) for their insight, collaboration, and creativity that resulted in Avon’s EXCEL model.

The Avon Quick Link documents, which assist staff in accessing district resources, student information, and the professional development calendar, have been updated for the 2019-2020 school year.  These documents are organized by level, Avon Quick Links for Elementary and Avon Quick Links for Secondary.  It is highly recommended to bookmark a Quick Link document for easy access throughout the year.

Finally, the Avon Public Schools 2019-2020 Common Assessment Calendars: Secondary Assessment Calendar and Elementary Assessment Calendar are linked here for your reference as you begin planning for next year.

District Highlights
As shared at Convocation, the APS Blueprint for Excellence has been revised for the 2019-20 school year.  A few changes to note in the Blueprint are the addition of a summary to the Mission statement, the four focus areas (student learning, personal growth and relationships, communication and partnerships, systems), and the two to three overarching goals under each focus area that will in all likelihood span a number of years with the action steps changing underneath them as they are realized.  

Calendar of Events
Tuesday, September 9       Professional Development and Evaluation Committee,  AHS Community Room   3:30 - 5:00
Thursday, September 26    ELA Vertical Team Committee Meeting, AHS Community Room    8:00 - 3:00
    

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